Tuesday MLB Preview – Reds at Giants

A pair of talented left-handers headline the second game of this three-game set in the Bay Area.

Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants

Cincinnati suffered an 11-2 blowout loss to the Giants in the first game of a three-game set at AT&T Park, but the team still remains atop the league in batting average  and runs scored.  “The main thing is for nobody to panic.  It’s one game,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said after the game.  “You want to win every game, but at this point we’re 5-2 on this road trip.”  The club is 36-27 on the road this season (+1,140) and has a 10-4 record as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (+760).  The team has won eight of their last 10 games and has produced a solid 15-6 record in August (+920), while the total stands at an even 10-10 O/U in those contests.  Cincinnati is 13-6-1 in their previous 20 road series and has compiled a winning or .500 record on six of their nine road trips.  It’s also important to note that the Reds are 23-17 when facing southpaw starters in 2010 and 72-67 in this situation the last three campaigns (+510).

Reds starting pitcher Travis Wood is 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA in nine starts this season and has led the club to five straight victories since July 23.  He has produced a perfect 3-0 record and 1.83 ERA in three outings this month, as opposing hitters have combined for a .147 average.  The left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in eight road starts, issuing just 11 walks and compiling 40 strikeouts in 51.1 innings of work.  In his nine starts, Cincinnati has gone 7-2 and scored a total of 51 runs (5.67 rpg).  Wood will be making his sixth nighttime start, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA.

San Francisco’s offense broke out in a big way on Monday night after totaling just a single run in its previous two games.  “It was nice to get a win, no getting around that,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.  “We had a nice first inning there, we has some good at-bats and put some runs on the board.”  The Giants returned home following a 2-4 road trip through Philadelphia and St. Louis that saw the club scoring three runs or less in the four losses.  Starting pitcher Matt Cain’s performance last night was a sigh of relief for fans, as the starting rotation was 2-11 with a 5.44 ERA over the last two weeks before this series.  San Francisco will play 14 of its next 25 games at AT&T Park, with the team having won 13 of their last 19 home contests.  The club is 18-16 versus left-handed starters this season (-90) and the total is 16-16 O/U in those contests.

Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez is 9-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 26 appearances (25 starts) this season and he snapped a personal two-game losing streak last time out.  In that start, he allowed just a single run and two hits while firing eight solid innings in a 5-2 road victory over the Phillies.  The left-hander is 5-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 13 home outings (12 starts), with opposing hitters combining for a .214 average.  Sanchez will be making his fourth career start against the Reds and second this season, going 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA, while registering 21 strikeouts against just five walks.

Bettors will need to make note that the Reds are 9-2 in their last 11 road games and 5-0 in Wood’s last five outings away from the Great American Ball Park.  San Francisco is surprisingly 3-8 in its last 11 home games versus a team with a winning road record and the over is 8-1 in Sanchez’s last nine starts as a favorite.

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